Petition Closed

Regulate Offshore Deepwater Oil Drilling 

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States
Stop BP from drilling in the Gulf? Two years since the greatest environmental disaster that took eleven lives sinking the Deepwater Horizon drilling oil platform into the Gulf of Mexico spewing massive amounts of oil destroying natural wildlife, fishery industry, polluting Gulf waters and destroying tourism, BP in less that a year after claiming losses from the oil crisis is making strong profits again. BP has rebounded and it is paying dividends to shareholders once more. It is also pursuing new drilling undertaking from the Arctic to India, and explores to resume deepwater drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico holding more leases than any competitor.

BP is a world leader in deepwater drilling for fossil fuels meeting the world's ever growing need for energy could be found criminally negligent for the hundreds of million gallons of oil that gushed from the company's blown-out well and for the 11 men who died when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. Hundreds of lawsuits and civil and criminal fines could add billions of dollars to its already overwhelming liabilities. And the findings of several investigations still under way could further damage its reputation. Yet, BP wants to return again in the Gulf with a lax regulatory agency. In a year since this catastrophic crisis, BP has estimated that the spill will cost the company at least $40.9 billion.

Here’s the bigger picture. A year after the Gulf spill, pain and frustration remain for many. At current, there is lasting damage in the Gulf region, including empty hotels, out of work fishing industry and a badly disturb underwater ecosystem. BP's promises to make the people and Gulf area whole again. Researchers say the Gulf shores health has declined after the oil spill.

Before BP drilled in the Gulf fishing trips were booked solid. Since the oil well was cap. Empty trips from the spills impact is keeping customers away. One year after the oil spill researchers believe it will take years to determine if oil is still beneath the Gulfs surface and if there are any effects to fish and shrimp. They also still employ cleanup and recovery workers, though far fewer than before. BP officials also say they are living up to their commitments to restore the region's economy and environment. While many have returned to the shores one year after spill problems remain.

BP has signed energy exploration agreements in Indonesia, China, India and Australia agreeing to pay $680 million for a controlling interest in Brazilian ethanol and sugar producer CNAA. BP also agreed to pay India's Reliance Industries $7.2 billion for a stake in key oil and gas blocks, and announced a deal with Russia that would involve exploration in the Arctic Sea. That deal is facing opposition and is not yet final.

The first deepwater permit issued after the Obama administration lifted a post drilling ban went to Noble Energy Inc. for work on a well off the coast of Louisiana. BP is not the operator but it has a 46 percent stake in the well finding ways to skirt regulatory policies. BP also bought out Shell's 25 percent interest in two Gulf fields in December, making BP the owner of both.

The company has applied for a permit to drill one new well in the Gulf and wants to apply for more. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement said BP's applications will be weighed just like any other company's.

Five Gulf Coast residents who had planned to tell investors about their post-spill misery were denied access to the company meeting, prompting confrontations with guards. Inside, hundreds of BP investors questioned board members about what they said were excessive executive pay and a lack of clearness on safety improvements. Still BP wants to drill in the Gulf again.

To protect our shores, coastal regions and waters, Mr. President congressional members and protectors of the environment, Americans have not forgotten the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Now more than ever there is a greater need for more proactive action from Washington. Now is the time for action. We cannot allow deep oil drilling to put the Gulf unique and fragile environment and economy at risk again. When prior regulatory policies was not in place this, lead to the Gulf’s disaster.

Direct action and heavy regulation now will help protect us from the harms of deep oil exploration and drilling preventing supporters of big oil pushing for a lax protective agency avoiding a second catastrophe crisis. The federal government must take action to managed and regulated oil offshore drilling operations. This is where the feds must focus its efforts to avoid events like these in the future. Stop BP from future drilling in the Gulf.

Michael Coker